Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Each year, it seems, a Colorado brewery that is new or relatively new jumps up and demands to be noticed by the hoards of people coming in for the Great American Beer Festival. And if you are just pulling in for the 2015 version of the beeriest show on Earth, the one (of many) that you need to seek out is Odd 13 Brewing.
Opened in August 2013, the Lafayette beer maker roared out of the gate with a variety of highly hopped and barrel-aged experimental beers. Some, such as its flagship 78-IBU Eric the Red IPA were quick to land as hits. Others, such as its Doctor Wildcat sour blend aged in Cognac barrels, seemed to jam a few too many tastes into your mouth at once but let you know there was something special rising from the minds of founders Ryan and Kristin Scott.
Over the past year, however, few Colorado breweries have gelled the way that Odd 13 has. It's rolled out more experiments - often found only at its taproom east of Boulder and select beer bars. It will be moving production next month to an expanded 30-barrel taphouse, according to Denver Post beer scribe Jeremy Meyer. And, most importantly, it's hit on pretty much everything that's been coming out of its bold tap lines.
Take, for example, its Master of Unrelated Science, a hoppy farmhouse ale with Brett that comes off woody and fresh and balanced with a very nice hop profile. Or Super Sneak, a spring-released tart farmhouse ale packed with enough hops to cut the sour taste and to make this beer truly unique.
Odd 13 does some of its best work when taking a more traditional recipe and giving it a bit of a twist. Eric and the Hipster, a once-a-year double red IPA, is shockingly smooth and tasty for its 10.2% ABV profile. And Saint Petersburg Brett, a Russian imperial stout that is single-hopped and fermented with a single strain of Brettanomyces, is so complex in its darkness and tartness that the flavor continues to change on you throughout your tasting.
Colorado has no shortage of young breweries doing great things (and making young children desperate to reach out and try the offerings with their beer-writer fathers). But if you want to get in early on a brewery that should have a national name within a couple of years, it's worth finding some Odd 13 on your trip this year through town.